Professional Development

9 Extraordinary Traits of Successful People

Written by Peter Jones

Success can usually mean whatever you want it to mean. So to gain success, in one form or another, isn’t that hard to achieve. It’s being really successful that takes significant talent and gumption. And there’s no one way to get there. There are, however, certain traits of successful people that are more common than other traits. Chances are, if you have any of these 9 qualities, you will most likely be successful in life.

1. You’re generous

You’re not just happy when you succeed; you’re able to find happiness in the success of others, particularly those on your team. You understand about rising tides and how the team that works together and succeeds together has the best chance of making each member an individual success as well. That positive, generous attitude linking your personal success to others’ success is key.

2. You’re always looking to learn

You’re easily bored, but instead of sitting around complaining, you constantly seek out new and novel experiences. If you can manage to channel this urge constructively and not devolve into reckless excess, then you can foster your curiosity and growth over the course of your whole life and career. If you can add persistence to your sense of adventure, imagine what you can accomplish. Bottom line: your impulses are good, as long as you can keep them in control.

3. You don’t get too nerdy about work/life balance

You’re not constantly trying to figure out how to ease up on work to make time for family. You define yourself by your family, your interests, your business—all of it. So you’re constantly keeping all of it bubbling on your stove. You don’t strive for work/life balance. You just live your life. Your life is your work, and vice versa.

4. You’ve got empathy

So many innovators and entrepreneurs succeed because they are able to solve a problem. The best problem solvers are those who can put themselves in others’ shoes. And the most successful people realize that the success of their team and employees is just as important as their personal gain.

5. You’re always striving

You’re not just proving yourself to the world; you’re proving yourself to yourself. And you won’t accept anything but your personal best. This is where your dedication and drive come from, and how you stay motivated to succeed.

6. You’re willing to work harder

All over the world, there are people working harder than you are. Longer hours, higher output, you name it. If you really have a hunger to succeed, you’ll put in the time and energy necessary to do so—even if it means working more than the standard 40-hour week.

7. You see money differently

Every raise and bonus isn’t just another thing you can buy in your eyes, it’s an opportunity (and a responsibility). The more money you make and accumulate, the greater care you take managing your resources. You give it back to your employees, the community, etc.—way before rewarding yourself. And the more you spread what you have around, the more will come back to you.

8. You don’t toot your own horn

Everybody these days thinks they are a special snowflake. You realize how much help and luck and privilege you’ve had to get you where you are—and what debts of gratitude you owe. You focus on this, rather than crowing about your accomplishments on social media. This humility and openness to asking for help and advice will only take you higher.

9. You don’t sacrifice your dignity

Your dignity, character, and integrity are more important to you than the success of the moment. After all, success is never guaranteed to last a lifetime, but who you are will. If you’re already certain of what you aren’t willing to sacrifice, you’ll be in good standing in your pursuit of success.

About the author

Peter Jones